Timothy Snyder



The Normalization of the Unforgivable — Trump and an America which is already half lost

With Donald Trump, we have been witnessing the normalization of the unforgiveable.

The rise of an authoritarian leader in the United States, who through outrageous lies, thuggish behavior, and the assistance of a large-scale Russian intervention in the 2016 elections, became President, would be great material for a movie but in fact be unbelievable, unless of course it actually happened.

During his campaign in 2016, the transition, and now his four months in office, Donald Trump has erased the boundaries of the impermissible, the unthinkable, and the very concept of the truth itself.

Now, in 2017, we can for perhaps the first time in many decades understand what happened after 1932 with the rise of the National Socialist Parry and its leader in Germany.

Each day they chip away a little more at our concepts of the truth, of decency, and of the bulwarks against authoritarian behaviors that exist in a democracy.
We are desensitized. The outrage is drained from our souls. We begin to make excuses for Trump and his rhinoceri.
We begin to acquiesce.


The level-of-analysis problem in assessing and reacting to Trump’s assault on American democracy

The outlines and methods of President Donald Trump’s asault on the institutions of American democracy and their underling traditions and values are now clear.

First, he has conducted an all-out assault on the very concept of the truth.
Third, Trump not only lies about everything all of the time, but also engages in defamation of the leading news media in the United States on a daily basis, having labeled them “the opposition party” and “the enemy of the people.”
We face a dramatic situation.

We have a president who lies about everything all of the time.

We have a presdient and administration which reject the concept of accountability, dismissing criticism will lies and charges of “fake news”. The president openly defies the requirements of the Enmoluments Clause of the constitution…
We have a president who is under strong suspicion of colluding with the Russians in their intervention into the November 2016 elections in the United States, who has not criticized Putin or Russia directly in any significant way…
Given Trump’s ongoing assaults on the pillars of American democracy, and the values which underlie them, Democrats, Independents and Republicans need to start thinking, with great urgency, about how Trump and Bannon can be removed from office–at an early date.


The meaningless “sham” elections in “separatist”-held areas of the Ukraine on November 2, 2014

“Une dictature est un pays dans lequel on n’a pas besoin de passer toute une nuit devant son poste pour apprendre le résultat des élections.”…


Historical context for current Russian aggression in the Ukriane; The sham “referendum” on May 11, 2014 in the eastern Ukraine

Russian aggression in the Ukraine: The historical context For a bracing corrective to the Russian propaganda supporting Russian aggression in the Ukraine, see: Timothy Snyder,…